Frequently Asked Questions re. iPads

One To One iPad Digital Learning Program Parent FAQ (Updated Feb., 2020)


Where did the funding come from to purchase iPads for students?

 iPads for student learning are being funded through additional General Fund dollars received by the District in the State’s new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). The LCFF requires completion of a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), which includes provisions requiring the District to demonstrate it is using LCFF dollars to “increase or improve services for all students and significant sub-groups”. The investment of LCFF dollars in the District’s 1:1 Digital Learning Program meets the criteria set forth.  Santee School District’s 1:1 Digital Learning Program is designed to empower all students to learn and to apply the academic content standards.

What grade levels are included in the One to One Digital Learning program?

All grades, transitional kindergarten through eighth, are included. Grade 3-5 students first received iPads during the 2014-2015 school year. In fall, 2015, the program was expanded to include grades 6-8, and in January, 2016, the District distributed devices to students in grades K-2. Existing student iPads were collected at the end of the 2022-2023 school year and all K-8 students received a new iPad in fall, 2023.  

Classroom Use

Why the iPad?

 In 2013-2014 the district went through a year-long process of examining many different devices to find the best match for our instructional goals and needs of the digital classroom. During this process, our district technology committee, as well as teachers representing all schools in the Santee School District, reviewed a variety of laptops and tablet devices. We found the iPad to be the best device to help attain our vision of learning in the 21st century. The tablets added the ability for students to have a touch interface that would enable them to draw and to interact with the screen that was lacking in laptops. We also have seen that the iPad has the widest range of apps available for students to use. We will evaluate current devices on an annual basis and determine which would be the best learning device for our students at that point in time.

When will students begin to take iPads home?

 Devices can be taken home as soon as they are issued to students by the classroom teacher. Prior to that, all required documentation must be completed and returned, the student must have completed instruction in digital citizenship.

How is the district ensuring that students will not be accessing inappropriate Websites at school and home?

 All student iPads at school will have to go through the district Web filter when accessing the Internet. Students have signed an acceptable use policy that will put responsibility on them to make good choices when accessing the Internet. Teachers will be managing and monitoring their classes, but ultimately it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they are using the Internet in a safe and appropriate way at school.

iPads that go home will still connect through the district filter. Parents who have concerns about monitoring use can use strategies like only having the iPad out when in a public space at home and not letting students go in a room alone on the iPad. Students should be allowed some free time at home, if possible, to use some of the creative apps on the iPad. This will allow them to have a greater knowledge of how to use the app at school and will provide them with some additional experience in mastering certain forms of creative expression. Please see our digital citizenship and cyber safety resources for more information. 

How do I know my students won't be playing games all day?

 Student iPads and their use in the classroom will be monitored by the classroom teacher. Students will not have the ability to load apps on their own, which will greatly limit the distraction of games. If the teacher finds this is a problem, the teacher has the ability to delete any app that has become a problem for students in the classroom. Teachers will also have consequences for students who are off task on their iPad during instructional time. Our hope is that students will be engaged in their own learning and will not have a desire to do something else with the iPad.

Can I send my student to school with another device that is not an iPad to use in class?

 No. Students may use personal digital devices in class. There will be certain apps during the school day that may not be able to utilized on a different platform. These include apps that will allow students to respond to the teacher during instruction and be able to share their work to the group wirelessly. There will also be certain apps that will not have the ability to interface with a laptop computer. 

Will students be able to download apps?

 The student iPads now have a "self-service" area where they can download preselected, district-approved apps. However, Apple's App Store will not be available for students on their iPads. Also, a core set of school-required apps will be downloaded to the device by district personnel.  

Will some apps be modified for student use?

 Yes. The Mobile Device Management System used by the District will allow teachers to control and manage apps on the student iPads. 

Won't reading all of that small writing on the iPad's screen lead to eye strain?

 The iPad has the ability to increase text size to enhance readability. 

In cases where my child's iPad malfunctions, will my child still have access to a device? 

Yes. A device will be on loan to the student if their iPad has been collected for repair due to malfunction.

Home Use

Can my child use the iPad to access the Internet at home?

 Yes. Students may use the iPad to extend their learning away from school. The device will still route through the District's Internet filter to help ensure a safe learning environment. 

Are there options for affordable high-speed Internet for needy families?

 Cox Communications offers a program called "Connect to Compete" that provides families who meet their qualification criteria with inexpensive, high-speed Internet access. Again, this is not a Santee School District program. However, it is a possible avenue for acquiring high-speed Internet at home for families with demonstrated need. To navigate to the "Connect 2 Compete" site, click HERE 

If I have a question, concern, or technical issue with my child's iPad, who should I contact?

 The classroom teacher is the first level of contact in these circumstances. If the situation requires additional support, the teacher will contact the appropriate District personnel. 

What if I am not comfortable with my child having his/her iPad at home?

 Parents may opt to keep the iPad at school by completing a brief Web-based form. If a parent changes his or her mind and wants the student to begin taking the device home, the parent will need to go back to the Website, fill out the form again, and then inform their child's teacher. In situations where the iPad does not go home, it will not be available for use in Project Safe, only in the classroom. 

If I have a different device at home for my child's use, how may I add the apps my child is using at school?

 All of the apps installed on your child's district-owned iPad are available for download from Apple's "App Store" and most are free of charge. Some, but not all of them are also available for download through the Android market. 

Liability and Insurance

What is the cost to participate in the optional insurance program?

 The cost to participate in the 2023-2024 school year program was $25. The cost is not subject to reduction or refund for partial year participation due to late enrollment in, or early withdrawal from, the District. In the event of a claim, an additional $50 cost would be incurred for the deductible.

What is my financial responsibility for the mobile device issued to my child?

 The table below summarizes the circumstances under which a parent/guardian may be held financially responsible for damage/loss/theft of the device in contrast to conditions under which the District would take financial responsibility:

Financial Responsibility
Event Conditions Location Remedy District Parent Guardian Optional Insurance Coverage Insurance Limit
Damage to Device or Power Cord Accidental On School Ground Repair x n/a
Replacement x n/a
Off School Ground Repair x Device Only 1 incident per school year; $50 deductible applies
Replacement x Device Only
Malicious intent, gross negligence, or student behavior directly contribute to damage On School Ground Repair x none
Replacement x none
Off School Ground Repair x none
Replacement x none
Loss or Theft Reasonably assumed to be under control of the student On School Ground Replacement x none
Off School Ground Replacement x none
Reasonably assumed to be under control of school personnel or locked in a secure location On School Ground Replacement x n/a


When can I opt-in to the program?

 For the 2023-2024 school year, the optional insurance may be purchased beginning on the first day of school (August 24th) through the end of October. Students enrolling after this period must be enrolled within the first 10 school days of initially receiving the device(“Enrollment Period”). Information about purchasing the optional insurance will be available through the district website and from teachers. After the Enrollment Period, parents/guardians would need to wait until the subsequent school year to opt in and would therefore be fully financially responsible for damage to the device. 

How do I enroll in the optional insurance program?

 To enroll in the program, complete the Student Digital Device Optional Insurance Agreement online form within the Enrollment Period specified in the previous question. For the 2022-2023 school year, payments may only be made online. 

Do I have to buy the insurance?

 No, insurance is not mandatory. Each family will have the choice to opt in or out annually.

If I do not select the optional insurance, what is my financial responsibility

 Parents/guardians will be responsible for the full cost of either repair or replacement of devices lost, stolen, or damaged in the possession of their students in accordance with the provisions in Table 1 above. Generally, the minimum cost for repair of a broken screen is approximately $150 and the cost of replacement is approximately $400. However, these amounts will vary depending on circumstances. 

Can a parent/guardian arrange for repair of a device on their own?

 No. Any repair or maintenance needed on a device must be done by the District.

What does the insurance cover and what does it not cover?

 Inclusions (conditions under which the optional insurance fund would pay for repair or replacement, thereby relieving the parent/guardian from financial responsibility for the full cost):

o   Accidental damage, including screen breakage, occurring off-school grounds up to one (1) incident per school year LESS a $50 deductible.

Exclusions (conditions under which parent/guardian would be financially responsible for the full cost of repair or replacement):

o   More than one (1) incident of accidental damage, including screen breakage, occurring off-school grounds in a single school year.

o   Loss or theft of the device while off-school grounds under any circumstance

o   Loss or theft of the device while on-school grounds and device is reasonably assumed to be under the control of the student

o   Damage resulting from malicious intent, gross negligence, or student behavior directly contributing to the damage either off or on school grounds.

Exclusions (conditions under which the District would be financially responsible for the full cost of repair or replacement):

o   Accidental damage occurring on school grounds.

o   Loss or theft occurring on school grounds while device is reasonably assumed to be in the possession or control of district personnel or locked in a secure location.

How will the funds collected for participation in the optional insurance program be accounted for?

 All funds collected for optional insurance will be deposited into a special account. Funds in the account will be used to repair or replace damaged, lost, or stolen devices and/or accessories.

How will parent/guardian financial responsibility be applied for costs not covered by optional insurance?

 For incidents covered by optional insurance, parents/guardians will be asked to submit payment of the $50 deductible prior to the student receiving a repaired or replaced device.

For incidents not covered by optional insurance, parents/guardians will be invoiced for the full cost of repair or replacement. In the event that invoices are not paid within thirty (30) days, any or all of the following actions may also be taken by the District, until such time as the invoiced amount is paid in full:

·       Additional correspondence/contact demanding payment.

·       Withholding of student grades and/or transcripts.

·       Referral to a collection agency

In cases where a replacement device is necessary, the District will decide what type of device will be provided as a replacement.